Last Wednesday, I was given the chance to go flying with the Air Cadets. Now a Flight Sergeant, I have been part of the organisation for about 4 years and they have given me many opportunities over the years, so I couldn’t say no to this!
It was a cold and early 5am start to get to MOD St Athan in Wales, where we went through all the safety briefings and went through dangerous scenarios. After getting kitted up, we waited for the weather to settle before we went up.
The plane was a Grob-Tutor, a two-seater plane used for training initial pilots and regularly used with the cadets. I went up with an experienced pilot, who taught me how to take off and the physics and significances behind all the buttons and switches on the dials.
I was a little nervous, but once we started flying it was an incredible experience – especially getting to take control of the plane. From previous ground-school training, I had learnt the manoeuvres and processes involved in keeping the plane in line with the horizon. Not only that, the view of Wales made the trip even better, and the pilot even did some aerobatics including loop-the-loops and some spins! We were very lucky with the weather as it just started to rain as soon as we landed.
Flying is an opportunity that I would never get asked to take up, on a day-to-day basis, however, the air cadets have helped me through the years with accessing these amazing chances and experiences, together with learning new skills such as leadership and discipline, but also meeting friends across both Bath and the whole country.
by Mathura Kathirgamanathan